The end bit
If you've made it this far through this heinous trawl of an ego
trip, then I both congratulate and thank you. The point of writing
this diary up for diskant was not to celebrate ourselves, but to
show how it is possible for bands operating at any kind of level
to book and organise tours outside of their home country. Our week
abroad did take some organising over a number of months, but no
one would dispute that it was worth all those hours on French messageboards,
chatting to complete strangers and trying to persuade them to put
us on, looking desperately for vans big enough to take everything
we needed, but also somehow affordable (we ended up using www.thrifty.co.uk, but would definitely recommend using a
DIY van guy if you are contemplating doing any touring of your
own - email me if you're after any contacts).
The result of a lot of honest, hard work was probably the best
experience of our lives, and easily the best tour-cum-holiday that
anyone could ask for. And YOU CAN DO THIS. It takes effort, but
I would recommend the experience to anyone. We travelled without
insurance, without any experience of doing this kind of thing before,
and without ever having played more than three gigs in the space
of a week before. And it was nothing but an unadulterated success.
In the space of four gigs we sold out of virtually every record
we brought, thanks to scarily enthusiastic and friendly audiences
(well, except for Reims), and we almost made back the money we
laid out in the first place for the van/ferry tickets. All our
final costs came down to hotels, petrol, and the food we weren't
served at venues. We took only ourselves, some instruments, a few
sleeping bags and a bag full of fifty CDs, and spent a week having
the time of our lives. Thank you to everyone who helped out, came
to a show, bought a record, or even just gave advice: you are too
numerous to list in detail here, but you know who you are.
Phew, that's it!